Nuclear power role (if any) with regards to energy generation and climate change

Education & Learning Energy Gist

In the year 2015, the Paris Agreement came into place with the majority of member parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) giving consent to submitting their determined decision to reduce carbon emission in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). This step was in a proactive response to the looming hazardous effects of climate change, escalated by anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It was a step to put a leash on the overbearing rate of the release of GHG emissions into the atmosphere, which was now impacting human lives and actives negatively in the form of floods, droughts, and even rise in sea levels. These effects, which have started inducing stringent effects such as hunger in places like sub-Saharan Africa, called for a radical is what the Paris Agreement was to cater for while bringing the mean surface temperature of the globe to below 2°C in relation to pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

With the aching obvious risks that come with a warming level of 2°C for the earth right now, coupled with the environmental impact of this, the world is now gearing towards a rather ambitious limiting global warming bar of 1.5°C.

According to the EIA, power generation caused about two-third of emissions growth globally in the year 2018. This suggests there is a lot of emissions that come from the generating of electricity and therefore, part of the actions that must be taken to reach the 1.5°C global warming goal will be cut emissions from the sector to an almost zero level. However, this is not as easy as a piece of cake due to the global demand for electricity that rises continuously for industrial, residential, and even for commuting purposes.

Source: IAEA

Nuclear power, although thought not to be renewable, offers a way out in the carbon constraint that the world faces right now. Since it produces very little amount of carbon, it can be combined with other renewable source of power coupled with a switch from coal to gas (another low carbon emission energy source) to meet the energy demands of the world while cutting back on the amount of anthropogenic GHG emissions.

About Ayodeji

Ayodeji Adekanbi is a graduate of Physics from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is a social and energy enthusiast whose heart is keen on seeing an eruption of Renewable Enegy alive in Nigeria and Africa. A current postgraduate fellow of Renewable Energy at the Prestigious university of Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. He is a staunch advocate of the SDGs and believes they are largely achievable by 2030, given our individual, and mutual contribution in our respective sectors and mode of living.

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